Ranking the L.A. Dodgers' Top 3 Trade Assets to Use in Deadline Blockbuster

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IIJune 26, 2012

Ranking the L.A. Dodgers' Top 3 Trade Assets to Use in Deadline Blockbuster

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    The trade deadline may be over a month away, but time will move very quickly over the next few weeks. Major League Baseball will start to see which teams are contenders and which are pretenders.

    While the Dodgers are a team that has been struck with the injury bug, they still own the second best record in all of baseball, best overall in the National League.

    They've been lucky. Maybe you want to call it... Magic?

    Either way, if the team is looking to play deep into October this year, there are moves that can be made to help cement their legitimacy. Unfortunately, those moves will cost pieces. 

    Here is a look at some of the prime trade assets the Dodgers own that other teams would want.

Nate Eovaldi, RHP

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    Going into tonight's action, Nate Eovaldi has appeared in 15 major league games.

    He is exactly what opposing teams would covet: young starting pitching. At just 22, Eovaldi was ranked third overall in the Dodgers farm system heading in to the 2012 season.

    With the injuries that have plagued the pitching staff, Eovaldi is getting a chance to display some talent at the big league level. So far, he is 0-3, however he owns a mere 2.35 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in his five appearances.

    In the minors he is 15-19 lifetime with a 3.28 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Those numbers are a bit skewed from his 2010 season. In 2011 he offered a meager 2.62 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP with a 6-5 record.

    There are many teams that would be willing to move players for a guy like Eovaldi.

    The most appealing part to him? He is still pre-arbitration eligible. 

James Loney, 1B

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    Every year, James Loney sees his name thrown around in trade scenarios. Every year he stays put.

    Why then would this season be any different?

    First and foremost, he's affordable with only one year of arbitration left on his plate. Historically he is a .285 batter with the capability to drive in a dozen or so home runs with 80 RBI.

    With the Dodgers getting Matt Kemp back sometime around the All-Star break (likely after), they will have a surplus of talent that can be used to fill in for Loney.

    While he's not typically a first baseman, Juan Rivera could play first unless the team brought back another first baseman in exchange.

    It may not seem like a feasible idea, but Rivera is actually having a more productive season than Loney and is a money saver as well, considering he makes roughly $2 million less per season.

Aaron Harang, RHP

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    Currently sitting on a 5-4 record, pitcher Aaron Harang could add an arm to an American League team that needs pitching badly.

    The Dodgers are in a fortunate position to have great depth on the mound.

    The blue have received unexpected results from Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang this season.

    Though Ted Lilly is on the disabled list at the moment, the Dodgers would still retain a strong enough core to its pitching staff to push forward.

    That might mean keeping Eovaldi in the starting rotation when Lilly returns, though this would not necessarily be a bad thing.

    Behind Clayton Kershaw and Capuano, the team can still rely on Chad Billingsley as well as Lilly heading in to the home stretch of the 2012 season.

Why Is This Blockbuster Material?

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    Honestly, I could see a situation where Ned Colletti feels compelled to trade all three of these chips for the right player.

    With the new ownership, the possibilities really seem endless.

    That said, I don't think the team would make any silly moves at this point, like unloading the farm system for a rental player. They've come much too far in the recent years.

    I wouldn't be surprised, in all honesty, to see this type of package offered up for a player like Zack Greinke (for example) while eating a majority of the salary on the table.

    While the Dodgers could easily shake things up majorly, I doubt they'll make tremendous waves considering how well the team has been performing.

    I would love to see the team take a stab at getting a player like Jacoby Ellsbury (though injured) in exchange for a Ted Lilly.

    Would that be a blockbuster? You bet it would.

    What it will all boil down to is the health of the team as the deadline nears.

    What you can be sure of, this team is going to make moves. It all will depend on your definition of blockbuster.